Not that kind of player, but will Wilshere's dismissal change his game?

By Graham McNorthbank

Saturday's victory over Birmingham showed us the best and worst of Jack Wilshere, but comparisons between the teenager's foul and the horror tackles that have maimed players are very wide of the mark.

When I saw the tackle at the game, my first thought was that it was a straight red, but that's because it was badly mistimed rather than a leg breaking challenge.

Watch the incident again and I don't think there's much argument that it was anything other than a sending off offence. Jack lunges in with a straight leg, studs showing, meaning that even if he had taken the ball, contact with the player would have made it a bookable offence at the very least.

The funny thing is, I've sort of been waiting for something like this to happen with Wilshere because I've seen the way he goes about trying to win back possession especially when, like Saturday, it's Jack who gives the ball away.

Determined would be one way of putting it, but get the timing wrong like he did against Birmingham, and Jack will find himself being accused of recklessness.

He'll now miss our next three domestic games against Man Citeh and West Hame in the league and Newcastle in the Carling Cup and that should give him time to reflect on his fully committed style of tackling and maybe work with coaches on that side of his game.

Not that we want that aggression eradicated from Wilshere's psyche, but if the Arsenal staff can work with Jack to improve his tackling, then Saturday's disappointment can become a positive.

The irony now of course is that all the Wenger bashers are crawling out from under their rocks to say Arsenal can be just as dirty as the De Jongs, Henrys, Taylors and Shawcrosses of this world.

But even Alex McLeish said afterwards that Wilshere is not a dirty player and the lad himself admitted that he deserved a red card. Compare that to the assault that saw Aaron Ramsy's leg shattered by Ryan Shawcross - all we heard at the time, and continue to hear, was that Shawcross was not that kind of player. The controversy could have been nipped in the bud a lot sooner had Shawcross done the honourable thing, like Jack, and simply admitted his culpability in the matter.

Thankfully Nikola Zigic was not hurt by Jack on Saturday and was able to resume the game after a few seconds of treatment.

No doubt Arsene Wenger will have been disappointed that one of his own players was guilty of the kind of challenge that he wants to see outlawed in the game, but he's old enough and wise enough to recognise Jack's mistake as youthful enthusiasm rather than anything sinister.

Le Gaffer and his staff will need to pick Wilshere up, but I reckon the incident can be turned into a positive that Jack will learn from and return an even better player. So will his dismissal change his style of play? I think it will tweak his game, but the lessons will make him a stronger, more rounded team mate.